Hundreds of youths in Taraba State on Thursday joined their peers across the country to protest against police brutality and the recent hike in tricycle fares.
The leader of the group, Kenneth Jande, called for thorough reforms of the police to address the security issues rather than a change of nomenclature from Special Anti-Robbery Squad to Special Weapons and Tactics team.
He said, “Today, we join millions of youth across the country to protest against police brutality. This is a very rare occurrence in Taraba State but we cannot say because we are not experiencing it here, it does not concern us. We believe that the police as a whole and not just the SARS unit, need an overhaul. There is a need for a total reformation of the force. We also feel there is a need for a well-trained and specialized unit of the force that is sufficiently funded and armed to tackle specific situations such as armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry and others. This unit should be cut off from regular police routine and should be dedicated to these tasks as it is done in other clans.
“We are also saddened by the recent hike in tricycle fares and the prices of sachet water. There are issues that directly affect the ordinary people. Most of the youth here are students and we are concerned because schools are reopening. We are all aware of the effect of the COVID-19 global pandemic on the economies of most families. How do we expect people to cope with these hikes? Life is simply becoming unbearable for the people and it is important that these issues are addressed before even more young people resort to crime as a way of survival.
“We want to use this opportunity to call on the leaders in the state to expediently look into some of these issues in a bid to ameliorate the suffering of the people. We appreciate the efforts of the state government in providing potable water in homes across the state but this is still a process and most people still depend on sachet water for daily consumption. I believe that if the state government can weigh into the challenges faced by the vendors and address them, this hike will be reversed for the greater good of the people.”